A Sandridge Church will be welcoming the Bishop of Norwich to a special Mothering Day service to launch its major community project ‘Sandridge 900+’.

St Leonard’s Church, will hold the service on Sunday, March 30 at 10am, to begin the project designed to celebrate everything that the area north of St Albans offers its residents and visitors.

The first Bishop of Norwich, Herbert de Losinga, consecrated and dedicated the church, north of St Albans, to St Leonard before 1119 leading to Sandridge becoming a parish.

The current Vicar of St Leonard’s, the Revd Em Coley decided it was time to invite his successor to come back.

Today’s bishop is the Rt Revd Graham James, a regular ‘Thought for the Day’ broadcaster, who was chaplain to former Bishop of St Albans Robert Runcie while he was Archbishop of Canterbury and spoke at his funeral in St Albans Cathedral in July 2000.

The Revd Em Coley said: “It’s great to be welcoming Bishop Graham to launch ‘Sandridge 900+ and we’re excited about the overall project. On Mothering Sunday, we’ll be thanking those who care for us and recalling the birth of our parish church.

“We’ll also be celebrating how St Leonard’s continues today as a place of prayer and worship – just as it has for more than 900 years - as well as playing an important role in the local community.”

St Leonard’s Church will be playing a full role in the celebrations with its own programme of events being held this year.

These include:

  • A lecture on 'Rumbustious John: the vicar who restored Sandridge' at the church on Thursday, April 3 at 2pm
  • An evening of curry and karaoke on Saturday, April 26
  • A family fun afternoon on Sunday, June 8
  • opening the church with refreshments on Sunday afternoons in May and the last Sunday in June, July and August
  • Hosting the Churches Together in Marshalswick ‘Songs of Praise’ with TV presenter Pam Rhodes at 5pm on Sunday, July 6
  • A visit by the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith at 10am on Sunday September 21
  • The annual flower festival on October 3 to 5
  • Gregory’s Gift, an evening exploring plainsong at 6pm on Sunday, November 2.                       

For more information contact www.sandridge900.com.